Wednesday, March 29, 2017


A number of years  ago, in one class period, I had a student with a very common name (Andrew Smith) and one who I am pretty sure is the only one who bears his name in the world. Or, can you name another Izarath Amornrunguang? I share my name with the guy whose picture is directly above. The following, from February 8, 2007, centers on the confusion.

The phone rang about thirty minutes after I got home from school this afternoon. A female voice on the other end asked, "Dr. Hawley?" I told her she had the wrong number. She said she was sorry and hung up. Several minutes later, the phone rang again. The same lady again, opening with another apology, told me that she was trying to get hold of Steve Hawley, the astronaut. I explained that I had this number for nine years and I was afraid I couldn't help her. She didn't say what she wanted. Maybe she was a reporter, seeking a quote on the NASA scandal revolving around the astronaut who drove across the country to allegedly kidnap and kill her rival over the supposed affection for another Space Shuttle passenger. Maybe it was about a speaking engagement or an interview for Scientific American. I guess she came up with my number through phone listings or Google. I could say I hoped she found the real Steve Hawley but what would that make me? Counterfeit? A fraud? A pseudonym? There is a story in the news about country music star Keith Urban suing a man over the use of his name on a website to sell art. The artist's name being sued by Keith Urban? Keith Urban. That's right- Keith Urban is suing Keith Urban because the website of the unknown Keith Urban does not make it clear that he is not the real Keith Urban. Isn't it ironic? Everybody preaches be yourself! This guy does just that ...and is facing a court date.

You would think in a small school everyone would call me by my correct name. It's not true. I have some elementary school antagonists who deliberately refer to me as Coach Farris, after Casey Farris, our Westbury Christian Lower School Administrator. I growl, "I'm not Coach Farris!" and they get their laugh for the day. Jesus asked his disciples how the crowds were labeling him and they gave some interesting aliases; John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Elijah. Peter got it right when he correctly identified Jesus as, "the Christ, the Son of the living God." Later, in Mark 13:6, Jesus would warn his men about those who would try to fool the masses:
"Many will come in my name, claiming 'I am he,' and will deceive many."
We must always remain on guard to insure we are are following the Jesus in the Scriptures, and not a man using the name of the Christ to lead others away from the Son of Man/Son of God. And while we're at it, we probably need to protect our names as well. After all, that's how we are listed in the Book of Life. Come to think of it, there is another well-known Steve Hawley, a prominent artist, who just also happens to have a website. Sorry- I have to run. I've got to find the number of Keith Urban's lawyer!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Once you label me, you negate me."
Soren Kierkegaard

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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